by Karina Correa | tech editor
The PTSA will be sponsoring two campus assemblies the week before spring break in order to bring awareness to drunk driving and texting while driving.
A few years ago, the PTSA, as well as students, would present a mock car accident for juniors and seniors to show the impacts.
“So basically, we tried to make it as real as possible that we could on campus. Have a real accident and what it would look like from EMTs arriving on the scene to police arriving on the scene, and two kids would get taken in ambulances. There would be a death that would occur. There would be an accident on one day, say Monday, and then Tuesday there would be some speakers that would speak to the juniors and seniors,” Assistant Principal Steven Berg said. “This year, we’re doing just the speakers for juniors and seniors. Then, we’re also incorporating a speaker for the freshmen and sophomores as well.”
Last year a fatal car crash took the lives of two juniors at the school entrance. Because of this, the administration saw the staging of a mock accident as inappropriate.
“We’ve had some accidents in the past where we think a lot of our kids have lived through some traumatic things,” Berg said. “They’ve had friends that have recently passed in the last few years so we didn’t want to put them through that again. We’ve had lots of kids that have known we’ve had I think it’s three student deaths related to driving just between Bulverde and Evans. In the last four or five years.”
Students will hear the experiences from speakers Cara Filler and Tyson Dever and learn how to avoid accidents such as these.
“They’ve been the victims of it or they’ve been the person who did it and how it’s affected their life,” Berg said. “So both of them bring great messages about how your life can change and just a snap of a finger with some bad decisions. They’ve been really effective in the past few years when we’ve done those.”
Those who already went through a similar experience or have PTSD can opt out of the assembly.
“We have all our counselors available. It isn’t mandatory that they attend if they don’t think that they can,” Berg said. “But they do meet with their counselors during that time we have a place for them. If they would rather be meeting with a counselor or in a quiet place instead of being in the assembly.”
Information containing the dates and topics of the assemblies will be given out soon. Also, students will be given writing prompts in their English classes about the subjects discussed in the assembly.
“I believe it’s tied into an English grade, teachers are going in all grade levels, freshmen through seniors are going to tie in an essay,” Berg said.
Separate topics will be offered to the grades. For freshmen and sophomores it’s how to overcome adversity and attitude. For juniors and seniors it’s dangerous and distracted driving, underage drinking, peer pressure, building resilience, overcoming obstacles, and making positive lasting choices.
“I think shattered dreams is one of the most impactful things that we do on our campus that kids are involved with over their four years at Johnson, and I’m glad to see we’re doing something for the ninth and tenth graders this year as well,” Berg said.